Signal is getting worse

Signal just recently released a new update adding stories, akin to the feature of the same name found in WhatsApp et al.

It sports the usual upsides of Signal: E2E encryption and privacy by default. It even allows you to disable it outright, a feature which I’ve been wishing for forever with WhatsApp, while I still feel little forced to use it for now.1

Stories are not a feature that I need or want. The fact that you can disable them is nice, but it’s still clearly showing a direction Signal is going in, even though I can’t quite put my finger on a definition of this direction.
There have been a few changes made to it that I don’t agree with: adding Payments (cryptocurrency) to and removing SMS support2 from Signal.

Having an experience similar to Apple devices with iMessage and SMS but on Android and with a messenger that is actually respecting the privacy of it’s users was quite nice. Try sending them a Signal message, but fall back to sending an SMS should they not have it.
Removing the SMS feature is quite sad since it also possibly made the switch for Android users that don’t care about private messengers3 easier as it’s “more than just a messenger”, meaning it’s more useful.4

In general, I’m not agreeing with the direction Signal is heading towards. This would be a scenario where I’d like to switch messengers, or at the very least change the app I’m using, but this is not possible since there’s no viable alternative messenger5 or even another app, as Signal disallows third party apps altogether, meaning I’m stuck with it, whether I like it or not.
Funnily enough, this is a similar situation I find myself in with WhatsApp, although Signal is much less evil and so I have less of a desire to ditch it.

In the end, Signal is better than Messenger X, so it’s still the best option out there for now.

  1. Ultimately, I want to ditch WhatsApp and have been wanting to do that for quite a long time. It might be time to pull the trigger soon. ↩︎

  2. SMS support has not been removed as of writing this post, but has been announced↩︎

  3. Commonly referred to as “normies”. ↩︎

  4. I’m not arguing this is the case, but if it gets people off of worse messengers I don’t mind it. ↩︎

  5. Matrix comes to mind, but it has a very low adoption rate, even in tech circles. ↩︎

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Posted on: November 07, 2022